I found a perfect bird
skeleton in our closet,

a complete and tiny structure,
every last powdery bone.

More beautiful than any
living thing I could hope

to find here,
it is my only something,

and I will never show you.
It lies on the floor

behind rows of "your stuff,"
sand stripped boots,

under hanging work clothes,
a body bag holding my coat.

I found him three days ago,
and I am glad I never told you.

The bouncing force that
brought him here to die,

I do not know, but I
admit I am jealous

of untouched remains,
of preserved innocence,

of the eternally unaware.
I know too soon my own

insecurity will force me
to crush him.

Katy Whittingham is a student at Emerson College, where she is pursuing an MFA in fiction and working full time at the Institute for Liberal Arts and Interdisciplinary Studies. "The Bird" is her first published piece.

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